2015 Track Preview: Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo

All rights reserved to F1mix.com

All rights reserved to F1mix.com

Nico Rosberg won the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton in second place and Sebastian Vettel in third place. Lotus, Red Bull and Toro Rosso also managed to improve on their performances in the last race by scoring some points too.

Heading into the Grand Prix this weekend, many are still talking about what the F1 Strategy Group has proposed for the sport in 2016 and 2017. If you wanna read more about this; then please read my article here:- https://jonesonf1.wordpress.com/2015/05/16/f1-strategy-group-unveil-plans-for-the-2016-and-2017-f1-seasons/.

The Monaco GP circuit is considered the ultimate test of driving skills. It contains both the slowest corner in Formula 1, taken at just 50 km/h, and one of the quickest, taken at 260 km/h. The average speed is very low compared to other F1 circuits. The drivers have to go very close to the Armco barriers all the time and there is no margin for error at all.

The Grand Prix of Monaco is certainly the most classic race on the calendar of the Formula One World Championship, and the one race teams and drivers want to win above all others.

Monaco is a track where the driver plays a more important role than the power of the car. The course is narrow and dangerous, and overtaking is almost impossible, so qualifying is very important. The only corner that offers a real chance of a passing move is turn 1, Sainte Devote.

It is one of the few points with any run-off area and drivers quite often have to use the escape road. Overtaking might also be possible in the Nouvelle chicane after the famous tunnel section, by pressuring the driver in front to make a mistake. The circuit demands a softer set-up than usual and maximum downforce.

In 1955, Italian Alberto Ascari made history by becoming the first driver to crash into the harbour in Monaco during a Grand Prix. Ascari survived, but he was treated for a broken nose, bruises and shock. The only other driver to crash into the harbour in the circuit’s history was Paul Hawkins from Australia. He did so when he spun at the chicane with his Lotus during the 1965 Grand Prix. Hawkins emerged from the unusual accident uninjured.

Facts and Figures

  • Monte Carlo has hosted the Grand Prix in Spain since 1929, even though the first Formula One race was in 1950.
  • Ayrton Senna is the most successful driver to win the Grand Prix with six wins.
  • Fernando Alonso is the most successful driver currently to win the Grand Prix with two wins.
  • McLaren are the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with fifteen wins
  • Race distance: 260.5km (161.87 miles)
  • Number of turns:19
  • Top speed: 284kph
  • Lap record: Michael Schumacher- Ferrari (2004)- 1.14.439

Winners from last 5 Monaco Grand Prix

  • 2010-Mark Webber
  • 2011-Sebastian Vettel
  • 2012-Mark Webber
  • 2013- Nico Rosberg
  • 2014-Nico Rosberg

My top five predictions for the Spanish GP

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the Spanish Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieve in the first five Grand Prixs, I believe that Rosberg has to beat Hamilton this weekend in order to show that he cannot be discounted for challenging Hamilton for the title and his performance in Spain two weeks ago reminded us of that fact.

Hamilton will also want to win this weekend and maintain the small championship gap over to Sebastian Vettel who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Bottas could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Thursday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.45am and 12.45pm, [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45am and 12.00pm, [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30am
  • BBC- Saturday (Qualifying and highlights) 1.00pm 5.10pm, Sunday (Race highlights) 5.05pm
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